Brewers’ Freddy Peralta falls five outs short of no-hitter on 25th birthday

Major League Baseball came close to tying the single-season record for no-hitters just two months into 2021. Friday night at American Family Field, Milwaukee Brewers righty Freddy Peralta fell five outs short of a no-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It would’ve been the seventh no-hitter of the year, not including Madison Bumgarner’s unofficial seven-inning no-no.

As if throwing a no-hitter wouldn’t have been cool enough, Friday is Peralta’s 25th birthday. Hard to think of a better birthday present for a pitcher than a no-hitter, no? Peralta struck out nine and walked three before allowing a soft line drive single to Nick Ahmed with one out in the eighth inning. It wasn’t well-struck (86.3 mph exit velocity), but it was a legitimate hit.

Peralta was removed following the hit — he of course received a standing ovation — and threw a career high 109 pitches in 7 1/3 innings, including a whopping 70 strikes. His previous career high was 107 pitches on August 4, 2018. Reliever Brad Boxberger allowed Ahmed to score, so Peralta was charged with a run. The Brewers held on to win the game (MIL 5, ARI 1).


Friday’s game had all the look of a no-hitter when Brewers second baseman Luis Urías made the token no-hitter-saving defensive play in the seventh inning. He robbed D-Backs first baseman Christian Walker of a sure base hit with a spectacular diving catch behind second base. We would’ve seen this highlight the rest of our lives had Peralta finished the no-hitter:

Even before the near no-hitter, Peralta was enjoying a breakout season with the Brewers. He took a 2.38 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 11 starts (and one relief appearance) and 56 2/3 innings into Friday’s game. In those 56 2/3 innings he struck out 83 and walked 24. The near no-hitter certainly didn’t come out of nowhere. Peralta’s been excellent all season.

The Brewers currently have the second longest no-hitter drought in baseball. Juan Nieves threw the franchise’s only no-hitter back on April 15, 1987. He did it against the Orioles. Here are the longest active no-hitter droughts

  1. Cleveland: 6,280 games (since Len Barker’s perfect game on May 15, 1981)
  2. Brewers: 5,388 games (since Juan Nieves on April 15, 1987)
  3. Blue Jays: 4,776 games (since Dave Stieb on Sept. 2, 1990)
  4. Royals: 4,620 games (since Bret Saberhagen on Aug. 26, 1991)
  5. Braves: 4,254 games (since Kent Mercker on April 8, 1994)

The D-Backs have been no-hit three times in franchise history. They’ve been no-hit by Cardinals righty José Jiménez (1999), Marlins righty Aníbal Sánchez (2006), and Marlins righty Edinson Vólquez (2017). Arizona has lost 26 of their last 31 games overall and their last 15 road games. Their last road win was Bumgarner’s seven-inning no-hitter on April 25.

There have already been six no-hitters this season, not including Bumgarner. Corey Kluber, John Means, Wade Miley, Joe Musgrove, Carlos Rodón, and Spencer Turnbull have 2021’s no-hitters. To date, those six no-hitters account for nearly one-quarter of all the complete games thrown in baseball this season.

The Modern Era record is seven no-hitters in 1990, 1991, 2012, and 2015. The all-time record is eight no-hitters way back in 1884, before the American League and National League merged in 1903. 

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